$20M Verdict Against XtraJet in Cabin Taping Overturned

 - January 21, 2010, 11:06 AM

A judge in the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles last week overturned an earlier $20 million judgment against defunct charter operator XtraJet, saying, “The amount awarded to the plaintiffs was so great that it shocks the conscience.” The claim against XtraJet and its former owner, Jeffrey Borer, stemmed from the secret taping of pop singer Michael Jackson and his attorneys on Nov. 20, 2003, while on a flight arranged by the Santa Monica charter firm. Jackson attorneys Mark Geragos and Pat Harris brought the suit. Jackson himself dropped out of the case as a plaintiff in 2005. In rendering his decision, the judge recommended that the two lawyers share $750,000. According to Lloyd Kirschbaum, attorney for XtraJet and Borer, “They can appeal, [but] hopefully they’ll just take the $750,000 and be done.” Kirschbaum noted that the incident involved video alone and no voice recording. And as for damages resulting from the taping, he added, “How could there have been damages if nobody ever saw the tapes?”